The Great Tortoise Run

Here are some pictures of the Great Tortoise Run.








Having dug over the area, we put six-inch wide scaffold planks around it, three high, so that Edweena couldn’t climb out. She’s a keen climber. It’s still a work in progress, but she has several clumps of grass and I planted out some weeds that I’d grown for her – plantain, vetch, clover and something else that I can’t think of at the moment.

She was tremendously excited and spent a long time exploring the area and nibbling the greens,  The babies were also pleased with their little run – the main reason I’ve given them a small run of their own is that I’m afraid of a crow or hawk catching them, so I wanted a space small enough to keep covered.  I think they’re fine – it’s the size of four large seed trays, and they’re not much more than a couple of inches long.  I’ve put pieces of bark for them to hide in and gravel, soil and weeds, with pieces of chalk and bigger stones for interest.

After the excitement of the day, it turned colder and Edweena has been quiet.  She didn’t want to eat and hid in the corner of the cold frame.  Today, it’s been hot and sunny and she’s perked up again.  We’ve made quite a fuss of her and she responded.

I’ve had one rose bush in flower for several weeks, and today it occurred to me to offer them some petals. Well, it went down a storm. They all adored them – Edweena ate four petals in a minute or two and the Tots ate their petals while I was watching Edweena, I didn’t see the going of them.

In addition, I weighed and measured them today.
Here’s the Dark Tot – actually, the weight fluctuated and I’ve written it down as 37 grams, with their shell length as 5.5 cm. They are both exactly the same size. Edweena weighs 830g and I measured her as 15 cm, but later I discovered (before I did the Tots) that I hadn’t done it quite right, so she may be a little longer. I’ve calculated their weight/bone density ratio and they’re fine. Must be doing something right. It’s all a lot more work than I ever imagined, though. I had to buy scales that weigh in 1-gram increments specially, too.

5 comments on “The Great Tortoise Run

  1. 63mago

    Upgrade – ? As Mig says, the pictures do tell the story. You can change their dimensions & location on the blog / in the text ; and when you choose to have no link, they can not open up big – you surely know all this already.
    I like to see these pictures and think its a good thing what you do for the tortoises. I never had to take care for such animals and find it very miraculous that they eat rose petals. I always thought they munch away on salad and that’s it. I only hope there will be no attack from the air or something like that. I once took care for a pair of very nice and fluffy “Meerschweinchen”, guinea pigs ; I liked them very well and we were “relation building” (!) or “bonding”. We were in the process of accepting each other.
    That blossoming relation or bond was cut off by a kind of falcon or whatever it was (ein Greifvogel, a bird of prey and a fox. I hope foxes do not try their luck on tortoise shells, but foxes are intelligent and can open things. But for falcons they are not fluffy enough, ha !

  2. Z Post author

    I do the same thing with both though and they come up differently. I thought I knew what I was doing, but it seems not!

    Exactly, that’s what concerns me. However, the kitchen garden is well protected with a wire fence dug into the ground on the side where there’s no greenhouse or wall. The greater risk is a crow or a hawk – Edweena is too big to be in danger, I think, but I keep the babies covered. I think they will have to be at least twice their present length before I have more confidence about them being in the open.
    They do like eating a range of flowers as well as leaves. They like salad, but there’s not much goodness in it. I’ve been looking up plants they like, such as sedum and hebe, and will plant some.


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